10 Iconic Hikes - Perfect for Your Summer Bucket List

The most intriguing hikes to include in your bucket list must possess exciting traits like stunning vistas, beautiful geological features, and the perfect dose of isolation. We've collected some of our favorite treks from around the United States that will leave you breathless - perfect for your summer bucket list!

Watkins Glen State Park - NY

One of the most popular hikes in New York is the Watkins Glen State Park, with 19 beautiful waterfalls in just a 1.5 mile trek! This hike is straight out of a fairy-tale with stone walls, windy paths, and breathtaking views of the falls. Be prepared for narrow trails and plenty of man-made staircases wrapping around the gorge. (3 miles round trip)

Canyon Overlook Zion - UT

The Canyon Overlook holds some of the most breathtaking views in Zion. This fairly easy hike is a great alternative to Angels Landing, for those who are not as physically fit, or have a fear of heights. Mostly an uneven terrain with stone steps leading the way on this trail. The trail can be intimidating in certain spots with narrow ledges, although most areas have railings to catch your balance. Overhangs and bridges make this an exciting trail, and have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. (1 mile round trip)

McAfee Knob - VA

McAfee Knob is a steady hike to the top with beautiful wildflowers along the way. You will be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the valley and surrounding mountains once you reach the top. Even though this trail has a gradual incline, it can be challenging at points with some steeper steps, large boulders, and rocky trails. McAfee Knob is one of the most photographed spots on the Application trail, so you can still capture those shots without giving the 5-7 months that the trail requires. (8.8 miles round trip)

Portage Pass - AK

Years ago, the Portage Glacier was much closer to the trail allowing hikers to see it closely, and even touch it! The glacier has since retreated behind the lake, making Portage Pass the only trail with a view of the glacier. Waterproof boots are recommended as you may encounter snow or mud depending on the season. This trail has just about everything you could look for – a river with multiple waterfalls, a lake, and of course a stunning glacier! (5.4 miles round trip)

South Kaibab Grand Canyon - AZ

One of the easiest hikes on the Grand Canyon will offer stunning views throughout the trip and is the only trail that holds true to a ridgeline decent in the park. Bring plenty of water and snacks to replenish your strength - the heat will rise once you descend the canyon and often increase in heat on the way back up. It is recommended to start the trail before 10am to avoid the afternoon heat. Feel free to stop at periodic shady spots on the trail and turn them into photo opportunities! (3 miles round trip)

Iao Valley - HI

Aside from its natural tropical beauty, the sacred Iao Valley held the Battle of Kepaniwai in King Kamehameha’s attempt to unite the islands. Once you reach the Iao Needle Lookout, you can overlook the valley which held a battle that changed Hawaiian history. The Iao Needle is sometimes covered in clouds so head out early for the best view. Even if it’s a sunny day, rain and mist are likely so be prepared with proper boots and a rain coat. (1.8 miles round trip)

Trail of Ten Falls - OR

Want to set foot in a magical wonderland? Look no further then the Trail of Ten Falls - like the name says, it holds 10 beautiful waterfalls! This casual hike is perfect for the whole family to enjoy, with old trees, hanging moss along the way. This hike tends to be popular, so arrive before 8am to avoid the crowds. Along with viewing the stunning falls you’ll have the opportunity to walk behind a few and cool off with the mist. (7.6 miles round trip)

Sentinel Dome Yosemite - CA

Hiking to the top of Sentinel Dome is by far Yosemite’s easiest way to experience the best overlooks the park has to offer. Incredible 360 views of famous points of the surrounding areas including El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, and various back county peaks. Head out for a sunset or sunrise view and you’ll experience a much less crowded peak then Glacier Point. (2 miles round trip)

Devils Garden - UT

This hike has multiple trails that allows you to see up to 6 national arches! This trip has plenty of arches, spires, and large rocks called “fins” which are formed when rainwater erodes the stone underneath, leaving behind unique formations. Landscape Arch is the main portion of the trail and is the longest arch in North America with an opening of 306 feet. Head out early (around 6am) for a much easier trek avoiding heat and heavy crowds. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear a hat to protect from the sun, as the trail has doesn’t have many shady spots. (7.9 miles round trip)

Panhandle Gap Summerland - WA

Because we love our beautiful Washington State, we had to save our favorite for last! Summerland is the one of the best ways to view Mt. Rainier with chances to see wildlife such as birds and chipmunks along the way. The gradual incline opens up to a large meadow of delightful wildflowers and greenery. This hike has a bit of everything including a lush forest, river, creek crossing, and mountains of course! (11 miles round trip)

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